Email Reflection 4/29 

Sarah Whittemore


I decided to reflect upon Sam Drabkin’s article: Fighting the Epidemic- Grass-root HIV suppport groups in the 80’s. This article stood out to me due to the fact that President Ronald Raegan and his administration was very slow to fund the HIV epidemic along with AIDS due to the fact that it was labeled as a “‘gay compromise syndome’” As the article state: “The equivalence of AIDS with the gay community made the conservative Reagan administration sluggish in its response to say the least.” I find it interesting that even though AIDS was around in the 1970’s that the disease itself was not deemed as a disease unitl the 80’s. I find this reckless due to the fact that in 1982, 618 people that had the disease died because of the lack of response and the article states that “By the end of 1983 that number had more than tripled” However, once the Reagan administration “changed its position” on this disease, Reagan “increased the federal budget for AIDS research, to half a billion dollars over 5 years.” The budget that the Reagan administration funded for AIDS research allowed Catherine Drabkin to direct her own support group. I also find it interesting that after one of Reagan’s friends: Rock Hudson died due to AIDS, “marked a turning point”. After movie star Rock Hudson died, “funds were made available for research and treatment.” I find this article fascinating because only after movie star Rock Hudson died of this disease, did the Reagan administration actually take action to attempt to control it.